Tea Appreciation: Art of Tea with CBTL

Art of Tea with CBTL

If you know me personally, you know that I love drinking tea. I will not say that I'm not a coffee drinker but for me, tea can be my substitute to water. It helps me feel less bloated while being warm at the same time. What's nice with tea is you can partner it to almost any food. Whether you're having snacks or big meals. You can even choose among different teas which ones suit your palette. 

My love for tea materializes when I started dieting and eating clean way back in January 2015. I would often read that green tea helps reduce bloating and reduce belly fat. Well, I am not really sure about the facts but whatever it is, I am sure it has helped me in my journey to being healthy. 

Art of Tea with CBTL
panorama shot of the whole workshop

Art of Tea with CBTL
Top most: dried tea leaves, middle: the tea itself, bottom row: steeped tea leaves

And from that moment, whenever I go to coffee shops, I would look and try different tea because you know, coffee is only to meant to drink with no added calories as black and I don't like black coffee, it's just too much. 

During Sundays before, me and my father's routine was to have lunch then go to the nearby CBTL because that's where are the finest and wide choices of teas are! And that's how I came to love CBTL. I would experiment and try out different teas from their offerings and came to love pomegranate blueberry. There are times I would order Moroccan Mint and Apricot Ceylon but my default would always be pomegranate blueberry.

Art of Tea with CBTL


So being the tea drinker that I am.. Coffeebean and Tea Leaf's Facebook page announced that there will be an Art of Tea workshop for free and you can even bring 1 friend! The mechanics are just to share the Facebook post and explain why you want to join the workshop. I saw the ad on last day of sharing the post so it must really be meant to be. haha! I knew I just needed to join.

Fast forward, I was chosen. Yup, I was able to attend the workshop! My boyfriend was also supposed to be in the list of participants but there are some misunderstandings on my part. Nevertheless, he was in the venue as well and he was able to take photos. #CertifiedInstagramBoyfriend. Looool



BTW, the workshop was held at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Vertis North branch. It was a new Ayala mall between Landmark and Quezon Ave., most of the shops are not yet open so the CBTL there was also not yet crowded. I love how cozy the ambiance is. Well actually, every CBTL branch have this homey and cozy feel that's why I always prefer it over any other coffee shops when I need to you know, blog or do something online.

If you are a tea enthusiast like me, you will definitely learn a lot from this workshop! The process on how each tea leaf came into your cup is just one delicate process! Really. Every process is meticulous.

The process of filtering the tea leaves

Art of Tea with CBTL

I will not spoil much about the workshop but here are some takeaways and tidbits of information I got:

1. There are 5 steps in the process of harvesting the best tea leaf and bud. Plucking, Withering, Oxidation, Rolling and Drying,  And did you know only females are allowed to pluck for CBTL's tea leaves? It is to ensure that the leaves will not be crush by the gentle touch of the female pluckers. 

2. Everything is handmade. Even the tin can where the tea bags are placed, the stickers outside was done by manual labor. 

3. Ever heard of steeping time? I don't believe in that before. I just usually leave the tea bag in the hot water for as long as I am drinking it. Turns out, steeping time should be followed to avoid altering the taste of the tea to enjoy the best flavor it has. Leaving the tea bag for so long will make the tea tastes bitter. 

Art of Tea with CBTL

Time to taste the tea

4. CBTL uses nylon in a triangular shape to house the tea bags. This ensures all the flavor will be in the cup and it allows space for the tea leaves to unfurl or extend to release flavoring. Some tea bags we see are thin sheets of paper but did you know that since paper is highly water absorbing, this causes the flavor to get filtered inside in the teabag instead of being released into the water? Now I know!

5. And of course, my main reason why I wanted to see this workshop, the different health benefits of tea. There's just many you really have to drink once in a while.
Aside from all the information we digested, we also had tea cupping. They let us first smell the aroma, taste the tea leaves while it is dry, yup you can eat it too, then we pour in hot water and let it steep before we taste it. The tea tasting comes in 3 parts. First one is the different Green teas. 

They let us try Genmaicha, Moroccan Mint, and Lung Ching Dragonwell. This is my first time to try genmaicha and lung ching dragonwell. Above all there, Genmaicha is my top pick. It reminds me of the sesame tea I tried in some Japanese restaurant. There's a roasted taste in the flavor.

Art of Tea with CBTL


Next batch of teas are black teas. They let us tried Chai, Earl Grey, and Apricot Ceylon. Can you guess which one I loved the most?  Yup, Chai tea. I love the cinnamon -ish smell and how sweet and flavorful it can be. 

My recent discovery, chai tea latte, is actually one of my favorite drinks already! I've tried Apricot Ceylon before and it also has a good aroma. While for earl grey, if you have a friend who's not a tea drinker, this is the best tea you can give as this, as they say, is the basic tea. I'm not a fan of it though.

Art of Tea with CBTL
Earl grey dried tea leaves

Art of Tea with CBTL
Herbal infusion teas

Last, but not the least... Herbal infusion teas. We tried Ginseng Peppermint, African Sunrise, and Lemon Chamomile. I'm not a fan of anything that has chamomile. I don't like the smell, it smells like medicine. While for African sunrise, it has a fruity flavor, there's a small hint of berries in the smell.

I enjoyed the whole process of tea cupping. Feels like we're hardcore tea drinkers. Haha! This workshop opened me into different tea flavors aside from the usual I always order. I am now a big fan of Genmaicha!

Art of Tea with CBTL


CBTL also has Oolong tea but they are not serving it here in the Manila.. hopefully they serve more teas soon. 

It was a workshop full of learning. It was also fun discovering and learning teas with people who also have the same love for tea as I am. Thanks, CBTL!

Art of Tea with CBTL

Oh, and if you want to experience this workshop, they still have other schedules. Just check their Facebook page. :)



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